Please Look After Mom

Kyung-sook Shin, trans. from the Korean by Chi-young Kim, Knopf, $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-307-59391-7
Shin's affecting English-language debut centers on the life of a hardworking, uncomplaining woman who goes missing in a bustling Seoul subway station. After Park So-nyo's disappearance, her grown children and her husband are filled with guilt and remorse at having taken So-nyo for granted and reflect, in a round-robin of narration, on her life and role in their lives. Having, through Mom's unstinting dedication, achieved professional success, her children understand for the first time the hardships she endured. Her irresponsible and harshly critical husband, meanwhile, finally acknowledges the depth of his love and the seriousness of her sacrifices for him. Narrating in her own voice late in the book, the spirit of Mom watches her family and finally voices her lifelong loneliness and depression and recalls the one secret in her life. As memories accrue, the narrative becomes increasingly poignant and psychologically revealing of all the characters, and though it does sometimes go soggy with pathos, most readers should find resonance in this family story, a runaway bestseller in Korea poised for a similar run here. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 12/06/2010
Release date: 04/01/2011
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-89-364-3367-3
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-307-59549-2
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-0-307-35919-3
Paperback - 247 pages - 978-986-133-364-9
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-307-35921-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-74736-5
Paperback - 229 pages - 978-7-02-007897-4
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-307-73951-3
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-74737-2
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-307-35920-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-74739-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-307-74738-9
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